My Google Page Rank

New Paraguay leader faces mounting regional outcry

PDFPrintE-mail

Paraguay's new president Federico Franco pledged to demonstrate "a clear commitment to democracy" Saturday amid a mounting international outcry over his predecessor's sudden ouster by a vote of Congress.

"The current situation is a concern for me. I recognize that there are problems with the international community," Franco told reporters.

"We will make our best efforts to get in touch with neighboring countries to try to demonstrate our clear commitment to democracy," he said.

No foreign government has recognized Paraguay's new leadership so far, as the impoverished South American country hangs in a delicate balance amid a rare economic boom.

The secretary general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, called the snap impeachment Friday of President Fernando Lugo a "disrespect to due process."

In a statement, Insulza said the Americas had once again witnessed "a summary judgement that, while formally in keeping with the law, did not appear to fulfill all the legal precepts of the right to a legitimate defense."

Franco got his first chance to make his case in talks with the Vatican's envoy Agustin Arietti, and later in the day with the German and US ambassadors.

"We reaffirm before the international community that we complied with constitutional law. We very much respect the presidents of our sister nations and will try to talk to them," Foreign Minister Felix Fernandez told 970 radio.

Paraguayan lawmakers voted 39 to four to impeach Lugo Friday after a trial in which five lawyers acting on his behalf had just two hours to present their case in the Senate.

He was accused of poor handling of an armed clash June 15 that claimed the lives of six police and 11 squatters on a privately-held farm.

A torrent of furious responses poured in from across the region, not just from traditional leftist allies like Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela, but also from centrist and right-wing governments in Argentina and Chile.

President Cristina Kirchner took to her Twitter account to repeat that "Argentina will not validate the coup in Paraguay."

Buenos Aires announced on Saturday that it was immediately withdrawing its ambassador to Paraguay, citing the "rupture in the democratic order."

Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela said they would not recognize the new government, while the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said the speedy transition of power had "affected the rule of law."

"It's a travesty of justice and an affront to the rule of law to remove a president in 24 hours, with no guarantees to defend himself," IACHR executive secretary Santiago Canton said in a press conference.

The first major international event the new government is expected to attend is a summit of South America's Mercosur trading bloc in Argentina on Thursday and Friday. But Franco said he had not yet received a "clear invitation" from Mercosur, in a hint to the bloc's other members.

Peru said it had offered to host a presidential summit of Mercosur leaders next week to assess the situation in Paraguay.

Franco, who served as Lugo's vice president, said his predecessor was ousted in accordance with constitutional law.

Seeking to reassure his many critics, Franco insisted that "there was no coup."

"There are no soldiers in the street," he added as calm reigned in the streets of the capital and across this small, impoverished and landlocked country.

Franco noted that any blockade of Paraguay would hurt Brazilian entrepreneurs, who have major interests in the landlocked country. Sixty percent of Paraguay's trade is with Brazil.

"Brazilian citizens living in the country, as always, will receive preferential treatment," he said, referring to the so-called brasiguayos, wealthy farmers who exploit the most fertile land in Paraguay.

In Friday's vote, senators found Lugo, a 61-year-old former Catholic priest, guilty of performing his duties badly during a bloody land dispute.

An hour later, to cheers inside Congress and angry clashes outside, Franco, 49, was sworn in as the new leader of one of Latin America's poorest nations.

Farmers' leader Jose Rodriguez called on his followers to "remain mobilized" against what he considered a "parliamentary coup."

By Hugo Ruiz Olazar




Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Globe lands SEA-US cable system in Davao City; nears commercial operations

28 Mar 2017 Hits:56 Be the first to comment!

Globe Telecom successfully landed over the weekend the Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) submarine cable system, bringing the company one step closer towards the provision of richer and enhanced international connectivity to businesses in Davao and the rest of the country. “We are excited over this development since it won’t take long before we can finally address the rising demand for internet services from businesses in the Philippines,” said Mike Frausing, Globe Business Senior Advisor. “We are very near commercial operations.  Once it commences, the cable system will be able to provide greater route flexibility and better future support for bandwidth-dependent applications and services consistent with the growing trend of companies shifting their business critical operations to digital.” “The primary source of information [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:

Metro Manila residents feel safer; cops step up crime drive

28 Mar 2017 Hits:49 Be the first to comment!

At least 82 percent of Metro Manila residents feel safer in the streets due to the intensified police campaign against illegal drugs, a Pulse Asia survey shows. Pulse Asia randomly selected [...] Read more


SSS eyes mandatory OFW coverage

28 Mar 2017 Hits:48 Be the first to comment!

The state-run Social Security System said it is asking the help of lawmakers to implement the mandatory coverage of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) following its goal to expand its members’ [...] Read more


Students under SPES to help direct traffic flow - Jawo

28 Mar 2017 Hits:54 Be the first to comment!

The city government will use the services of students under the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) to help in the implementation of the experimental traffic rerouting scheme. Traffic coordinator [...] Read more


(For effective traffic scheme:) Illegal parking not tolerated

28 Mar 2017 Hits:57 Be the first to comment!

Authorities warned motorists anew against illegal parking, particularly in light of the experimental traffic scheme currently being implemented. Executive Assistant Jawo Jimenez said owners of illegally parked vehicles will immediately receive [...] Read more


(TFZ change of command set today:) Beng cites Uy for efforts vs terrorism

28 Mar 2017 Hits:56 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco has cited Col. Juvymax Uy, outgoing commander of Task Force Zamboanga for his hardwork and efforts in maintaining peace and security in the city that resulted to [...] Read more


LIAC on transportation tackles traffic scheme, truck ban

25 Mar 2017 Hits:155 Be the first to comment!

The City Administrator’s Office on Thursday afternoon convened the Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC) on the Enforcement of Land Transportation Regulations to tackle pressing issues affecting traffic in the city’s main [...] Read more


Visually-impaired Dapilin graduates cum laude

25 Mar 2017 Hits:92 Be the first to comment!

A visually-impaired student from Basilan Province is graduating cum laude with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Education at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) on Wednesday, March 29. Abdulazis [...] Read more


Chides Magdalo men for being ‘cowards’

24 Mar 2017 Hits:121 Be the first to comment!

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday branded Vice President Leni Robredo as an enemy who was in a hurry to claim the presidency and described Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as “a [...] Read more


Globe equips Manila Science HS with 21st Century classroom

24 Mar 2017 Hits:95 Be the first to comment!

Globe Telecom and Habitat for Humanity officially turned over to Manila Science High School (MaSci) over the weekend a multifunctional Information and Communications Technology (ICT) laboratory with a collaborative working [...] Read more


WestMinCom troops honor fallen marine soldier

24 Mar 2017 Hits:99 Be the first to comment!

A fallen soldier from the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT)-2, who was killed during a clash with communist rebels, was honored in a send-off ceremony before he was brought to [...] Read more


Six alleged drug pushers arrested

24 Mar 2017 Hits:96 Be the first to comment!

Six persons, including a minor, were arrested in a series of buy-bust operations conducted by the different police stations of the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO), Wednesday. The Drug Enforcement Team [...] Read more


MGB-9 orders stoppage of illegal gold mining in Baliguian town

23 Mar 2017 Hits:92 Be the first to comment!

Local small-scale miners looking for gold ores were ordered to stop illegal mining activities in Pigbogololan area in the rural town of Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte early this month after [...] Read more


Globe myBusiness gives tips to working in the comfort of your own home

23 Mar 2017 Hits:93 Be the first to comment!

Many business owners enjoy working from home, but there’s a challenge that automatically comes with it.  There are certainly many perks, like being in charge of your own time, dressing [...] Read more


Cocolisap funds await PCA, City Hall coordination gab

22 Mar 2017 Hits:87 Be the first to comment!

Funds to rehabilitate the coconut industry following the cocolisap devastation cannot be released as of yet until after the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) regional office 9 and the city government [...] Read more


Koko sees okay of free internet access, six key bills this year

22 Mar 2017 Hits:130 Be the first to comment!

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Congress is expected to approve this year the bill on free internet access in all public places and six other key priority measures [...] Read more


Ateneo shines anew in Physician Licensure Exam

22 Mar 2017 Hits:136 Be the first to comment!

The Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine (ADZU-SOM) once again came up with an impressive performance during the recent Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) given by the Board of Medicine [...] Read more


Globe At Home Customers Meet the Cast of Wicked

21 Mar 2017 Hits:96 Be the first to comment!

The year is just beginning, but one of the highlights of 2017 is the staging of the Wicked, the West End musical, which transformed the Theatre at Solaire into the [...] Read more


Zambo harvests 80 gold medals in ZPRAA

21 Mar 2017 Hits:117 Be the first to comment!

The Zamboanga delegation ranked second in the secondary level and third in the elementary level in the recently concluded Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Athletic Association (ZPRAA) meet held in Dipolog City [...] Read more